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In its quest to address key corruption issues in Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, the Northern Regional Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has on Wednesday 29th August, 2012 engaged staff of the Sierra Leone Road Transport Authority (SLRTA) in Makeni.
Welcoming ACC staff during the engagement at SLRTA’s Regional Headquarters in Makeni, the Regional License Officer, Mr. Alie Badara Tarawallie appreciated the sensitization drive of the ACC. He maintained that such educational drive will go a long way to minimize the incidences of corruption as they would be guided on what they should not do. The License Officer noted that it was a good opportunity for them at SLRTA to understand the operations of ACC and share ideas.
Explaining the purpose of the engagement, Public Education Officer Al-Hassan Sesay stressed that the ACC was at SLRTA to educate its staff on the hindrances of corruption to the development of the country and enlist their support in the fight against it. Mr. Sesay said the ACC is not a witch-hunt institution but working towards the realization of a corrupt free Sierra Leone, which will ensure that the socio-economic needs of citizens are met. He therefore entreated staff of the SLRTA to join the Commission in the fight against corruption. The Public Education Officer gave an overview of the Commission, highlighting the different approaches used to fight against the scourge.
The Regional Manager ACC North, Patrick Sandi in his presentation told all present that SLRA was very central to the anti-corruption fight in the country because of its revenue generation drive for Government. He noted that for Government to acquire much needed revenue, the practices and transactions in SLRTA has to be transparent. Manager Sandi informed them of how corrupt practices in their operations cannot only hinder the development of the transport sector in Sierra Leone, but also destroy lives and properties.
He told staff of the institution how the Government will lose huge revenue if they allowed themselves to be compromised by corrupt individuals. Mr. Sandi warned that the activities of staff of SLRTA must be free of corruption and encouraged them to do their best as prescribed by law.
The Regional Manager highlighted key corrupt offences in the AC Act 2008 which are very relevant to the institution such as; protection of public revenue and property, offering, soliciting and accepting advantage, misappropriation of public/donor funds, peddling influence, conflict of interest, corrupting a public officer and receiving gift for corrupt purpose. He told his audience that the penalty for each of the offences was a fine of not less than thirty million Leones (Le 30,000,000) or a prison term of not less than three (3) years or to both fine and prison term.
Mr. Sandi used the occasion to explain to staff of SLRTA the various ways of making report to the ACC. He reminded them of their civic responsibility to report any act of corruption to the Commission and assured them of the fullest protection but warned against making false/malicious report. “The ACC is in existence to make sure that things are done right in this country. Let us fight to make sure our children and those yet unborn realize the benefits of a corrupt free Sierra Leone” Manager Sandi appealed to SLRTA staff.
Making their input, staff of the institution highlighted various concerns ranging from over-centralization of major government functions, high cost of living to lack of public support in the discharge of their duties. They also suggested among other things various ways of collaboration between SLRTA and ACC in the fight against corruption in the region.
Giving the vote of thanks on behalf of staff, Mariatu V. Tarawallie, License Clerk expressed delight over the sensitization as they learnt a lot, which would help them in their various tasks. She encouraged colleague staff to put into practice what they learnt and called on the ACC to sensitize them regularly.
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